TNs: Christmas lineup (Perrier, Pillot, Kopke, Barros, Alves de Sousa)

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Tomás Costa
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TNs: Christmas lineup (Perrier, Pillot, Kopke, Barros, Alves de Sousa)

#1 Post by Tomás Costa »

Things kicked off last night with a 2011 Joseph Perrier Blanc de Noirs, a delicious though not overly complex champagne which we casually paired with dried fruits. Salted cod is ubiquitous at the Portuguese Christmas Eve table, and white Burgundy is its perfect foil, so we opened a 2017 Jean Marc Pillot Clos St. Marc (which I assume is a lieu dit within the Vergers Premier Cru). I was too stubborn to listen to the recent CT/Vivino notes and it taught me a lesson: although this wine will one day be more than splendid, right now it's a sleeping giant - fantastically persistent, but not showing much in either nose or palate other than its oak elevage, unlike so many other 2017 white Burgundies.

The overachiever of the evening was a surprisingly splendid 1987 Abreu Callado, a relatively modest Alentejo table wine whose impeccable provenance and past storage led me to far exceed my expectations. It was fresh, satiny, and pretty complex, with overwhelming notes of figs and Earl Grey tea - a pleasantly elegant profile I would not have associated with the region in a blind tasting. For those at the table who prefer young wines we opened a 2015 Kopke Reserva - a textbook full bodied Douro red. The Barros 1938 Colheita tawny port had a phenomenally alluring, complex nose of nutty caramel, overripe persimmon and candied tangerine, but the palate was a bit short in comparison, possibly a symptom of its 22 years of bottle age. Our house Port, Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny, was not embarrassed by it.

For Christmas day we got things started with 'roupa velha' (leftovers of yesterday's cod mashed together with the potatoes and broccoli) and the 2010 Joseph Perrier Brut Rosé - quaffable and tasty, though not exactly fascinating - and a splendid 2000 Domingos Alves de Sousa Reserva Pessoal to pair with slow cooked pork. After its initial brettiness faded away, this had a glorious nose of Baixo Corgo earth, austere dark fruit, old leather, hints of varnish and a palate with terrific acidity and persistence. Despite a two hour decant it was still improving by the time we finished our last glasses (alas).

Merry Christmas, everyone!
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